Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Boston's Bonanza!

Yesterday was major league baseball's trade deadline, and quite a few deals went down at the last minute. The bigger story (at least to those of you that have been following it on ESPN) may have been who was not traded. Repeatedly they made mention of the Washington Nationals' Chad Cordero (and to a lesser extent Jon Rauch) and the Chicago White Sox' Jermaine Dye getting moved. None of these three players ended up getting traded. Some of you that are close to the Cordero situation know full well that there was actually very little chance of "The Chief" being dealt. The reason being is the asking price was simply way too high, as it was earlier this year when teams tried unsuccessfully to pry him away from the Nats. On the other hand, I fully expected set-up man Rauch to get dealt as his asking price was a lot less. But Rauch wasn't moved either and Nats fans such as myself slept a little easier last night. **EDIT** There's a nice article which goes into the Nats dealings a little more in detail here: Nat's Stand Pat At Trade Deadline **** As for Dye, I just didn't see the White Sox trading one of their star players (lots of Paul Konerko trade rumors also were thrown around), not when they still have much of the nucleus of their 2005 championship team still in tact.

The Red Sox did (much to my surprise) score the biggest free agent signing of the day, landing former Los Angeles Dodgers and now Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne. Gagne is good insurance in case something happens to their current closer, Jonathan Papelbon. Gagne's addition now gives the Red Sox arguably the deepest bullpen in baseball. With a 2.16 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, Gagne is not too far off from the form that he displayed during his remarkable run with the Dodgers from 2002 through 2004. With this signing, it's obvious the Red Sox are more than serious about repeating what they did in 2004. As for the Yankees, they made a rather curious trade, sending their best long reliever in Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for third-baseman Wilson Betemit. Given that they already have a certain guy named A-Rod playing third base and their bullpen is not very good as is, this trade left me scratching my head... It also makes you wonder whether the Yankees are intent on signing A-Rod after this year or whether they're going to let him go.

Not only did the city of Boston land the big prize in the baseball trade deadline signings, but the Celtics picked up one of the NBA's best players yesterday in "the Big Ticket," Kevin Garnett. Garnett, also known simply as "KG," was picked up in a 7 player trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where the Celtics gave up Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, two future first-round picks and cash considerations. "KG" joins other perennial All-Stars in forward Paul Pierce and guard Ray Allen to give the Celtics one of the most feared front lines in the NBA. Last year, the Celtics finished an abysmal 24-58 in the Atlantic confenece of the Eastern Division - the second worst record in all of the NBA. With this trade, the Celtics are now a favorite to win the division. Time will tell though, especially given the now fragile future of the NBA.


Lots of baseball was played again last night, but the milestones remained untouched by Mr. Bonds and A-Rod... The Dodgers simply never could put anything together last night against Noah Lowry and the Giants, falling 3-1. Brad Penny took only his second loss of the year in 15 decisions for the Blue Crew. The aforementioned Bonds went 0-for-2 with two walks an a run scored. In New York, the Yankees put up EIGHT home runs including two by "Godzilla," Hideki Matsui, as the Bronx Bombers pummeled the Chicago White Sox by a 16-3 score. A-Rod may be pressing a little, as he went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. In Atlanta, the "magic number" was 12 yesterday as the Braves walloped the Houston Astros 12-4. Brian McCann, Kelly Johnson and Jeff Francoeur all coincidentally hit their 12th home runs of the year for the Braves in the game - Johnson actually hit his 11th as well... Francoeur has been red hot of late, by the way, going 3-for-5 to raise his batting average to .300 for the first time all season. If you traded for "Frenchy" recently as I did in several fantasy leagues, this recent hot streak (a .370 batting average with four homers, 23 RBI's and 23 runs scored the past 29 games) just has to make you smile. The real trade deadline came and went and Chad Cordero is still doing what he's done so well for the Nationals the past several years - close out games! After the Reds scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning against starter Matt Chico, the Nats erupted for five runs in the bottom of the frame, led by a 3-run double by Ryan Zimmerman in RFK Stadium. Cordero closed things out for his 22nd save of the year in the Nats 6-3 win. In Anaheim, John Lackey finally looked more like his "normal" self, scattering seven hits and walking three while striking out five as he and the Angels shut down the Seattle Mariners in an 8-0 decision. For Lackey it was his 13th win of the year and his 6th career shutout.


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